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2016 was the year we fell head over heels in love with The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. We photographed an editorial for V9 there, had the best time staying on the property for the shoot, and were then touched (but not at all surprised) to learn that they graciously opened their doors to over 700 people when tragic flooding affected the area. It’s a magical place, no doubt, and it made a gorgeous and meaningful destination for Georgia and Charlie’s wedding! The colors and style of the resort are unmatched, so for this sweet pair who drew inspiration “from how we like our lives as a couple: playful, classic, and happy,” it was a perfect fit. Their wedding was chock-full of unique, custom details that paid tribute to their story, their personalities, and even their home. Get ready to be inspired in a big way!

We’re honored that the incredibly talented Eric Kelley and Easton Events shared this day with us for V9!

Right after we got engaged, we realized that The Greenbrier in West Virginia was the natural choice. Both of us grew up going there with our families, and it seemed to be the perfect fit. I have always had preppy, colorful taste, and having the wedding at a resort designed by one of my favorite designers, Dorothy Draper, was beyond ideal.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? Finding my dress was such a fun bridal experience. I was flying to NYC to attend my MOH’s dress fitting (I was also her MOH!), and she surprised me by setting up different appointments for me to look for my dress while there. My best friend from high school lives in NYC, so she got to be there as well!

What was Southern about your wedding? Being from Ohio, not many people know of or have house parties. I went to SMU, so this is something I loved and it was a great way to incorporate all of my close friends.

Our wedding flowers were our absolute favorite! Our heraldry designed for the wedding pictured watercolor blues and greens with accents of lemons and pink peonies. Beehive Events totally understood our wedding aesthetic and blew us away during the mock-up. We loved the way they were natural with greenery, yet tailored, to still allow for a refined preppy vibe. My bouquet was all whites, creams, and subtle greens. It consisted of garden roses, peonies, white veronica, tuberose, and hydrangea with accented apple mint.

How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? We had such a fun time wedding planning and really used it as an excuse to spend more time together! We traveled to Manhattan for our wedding trousseau and wedding day attire, and made our visits to the Greenbrier mini vacations, which made the wedding experience that much more festive.

The Chapel was so special and we loved the brightness it exudes. Since we love greenery, Beehive built a beautiful arch that was so full–it created what felt like a capsule around us during the ceremony, which made the entire experience very memorable. Two of the members of my house party were readers and read Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7 and 1 Corinthians 12:31-13.

Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? My bouquet was wrapped with my mother and grandmother’s pearls. My grandmother has passed away, so this made my bridal bouquet so special.
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? We chose Bob Marley as our recessional music. We also had a gospel choir outside the chapel to lead guests from the chapel to the cocktail hour while singing “Love On Top” by Beyoncé.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Our cocktail hour was on a patio overlooking our tent down below. The cocktail hour featured our signature drinks, jalapeno margaritas and Old Fashioneds. An elaborate French/Italian cheese display served as both an appetizer and a major design element. Other passed appetizers included candied bacon, Jamaican jerk tarts, truffle meatballs, and lobster rolls.

Lemons and ginger jars were heavily used, inspired by some of our favorite decor elements at home. Silk ribbons were incorporated into all of our paper products, which tied everything from the programs to pashminas together.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Watercolor blues were always something we knew we wanted to incorporate. We are a big blue and white couple, so mixing that with luxe, lush greenery was a priority. Our design inspiration came from how we like our lives as a couple: playful, classic, and happy.

What kind of food did you serve at your reception? We had a seated dinner with custom menus that served as place cards for guests, made by Happy Menocal. We had a roasted beet goat cheese ice amuse bouche, avocado crab and shrimp citrus salad, and a duo of surf and turf with filet and lobster tail.

Our cake had a classic feel with greenery, but was displayed on a whimsical swing. We had two flavors: confetti milk cake with streusel crumbles and a chocolate sponge cake with Chambord jam and Guanaja crunch. Part of our late-night food was a build-your-own-s’mores bar to highlight one of our favorite desserts.

Caleb sent along an Instagram video as well as the highlights film.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We knew each other in high school. I went to the private girls’ school in Bexley and he went to the public high school. We never dated until after college when we both moved back to Columbus, Ohio and reconnected through mutual friends.
Describe the proposal: From Charlie: I told Georgia that we would be going on a trip the day before we left. I told her to pack and that we would be leaving the next morning. It wasn’t until we were at the airport that I told her where we were going: Napa, California. We landed in San Francisco and toured around a little before driving to our hotel. We checked in and then went to a winery, where I had a photographer waiting who captured the entire proposal on camera.
How many guests attended your wedding? 200
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: Lemon trees that held the calligraphed escort cards on silk ribbon for the guests to cut off!
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: I think the custom Stubbs and Wooten shoes that I wore were a great addition. I was skeptical before I got them, but I think it was a unique detail.
What was the design inspiration for your reception? Southern Weddings Magazine provided such good inspiration throughout the wedding planning process! I also looked to Architecture Digest and interior design to source colors and images for inspiration. Ralph Lauren had such great inspirational images when it came to our white and blue look.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We chose “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole. Both of us remember our parents listening to this song when we were growing up.
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? Wanting to focus on the celebration of the reception and to keep the party going, we omitted speeches on the actual day and focused on them the night before at the rehearsal dinner. This way, it really was party time after the ceremony!
Tell us about your grand exit. Freshly shaved dried coconut was wrapped beautifully in tied paper cones for people to toss. We exited the tent and headed straight to the casino for the after-party! The exit was one of our favorite memories.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are looking forward to settling into our new lives together in Columbus. We have great friends and family and are excited to start a family.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Wedding planning can be such a great adventure. The wedding is only one day, so we loved treating the whole planning process as events leading up to the big day. Whether it is picking your bridal stationery or going to register, make sure to enjoy it–it doesn’t hurt to wear white every time!

Photographer: Eric Kelley | Videographer: East West Productions | Planner and Designer: Taz Greer of Easton Events | Venue, Catering, and Desserts: The Greenbrier | Florals and Rentals: Beehive Events | Bride’s Gown and Veil: Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s Shoes: Aquazzura | Bride’s Bracelet: Cartier Love Bracelet | Bride’s Earrings: Paloma Picasso by Tiffany and Co. | Bridesmaid Dresses: LR227 in Carolina Blue by Lela Rose | Hair Stylist: Damon Givens | Makeup Artist: Seda Leth | Groom’s Jacket: Ralph Lauren Purple Label | Groom’s Shoes: Stubbs and Wooten | Groomsmen Tuxedos: The Black Tux | Paper Goods: Happy Menocal and Rock Paper Scissors | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Favors: A Signature Welcome | Tenting and Lighting: Skyline Tent Company

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Emma reply

    Those paper goods are speaking to my soul =D Also, I love the idea of shaved coconut! Biodegradable, confetti-like, and fragrant to boot! What a creative concept.

  2. avatar 5 Southern Wedding Traditions Any Couple Can Incorporate – Plan My Wedding – Inspiration & Real Weddings reply

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When we set out to create Southern Weddings V8, one of the shoots we were most excited about was this one: The Fabric of a Southern Belle. We’ve never really done a “fashion” shoot before, and naturally, we wanted to put our own SW spin on this one–hopefully, inspiring y’all in a deeper way than just with pretty gowns. Conversations in our office and on Instagram led us to our inspiration: what is it exactly that makes a Southern belle? We all know it’s more than just an address–it’s a way of life and of looking at the world, and in honor of the belles in our own lives that we admire and look up to, we dove into the qualities that make Southern belles so special. With the help of seven Southern designers, seven darling reader models, and a tremendously talented team, we created a look for each gal that personified one of the qualities we find most prominent–we hope you see a little bit of yourself and the ladies you love in each one!

The Southern belle is gracious. She has a servant’s heart and is the first to lend a hand. Sydni looked fabulous in “Brooke Mason” by Alabama designer Heidi Elnora!

The Southern belle is elegant. While more can be more, she prefers just enough. How gorgeous is Anne Louise in “The Woodlands” by Texas designer Lela Rose?

The Southern belle is confident. She doesn’t need the approval of others, but stands firm in the truths of which she can be sure. Our own Emily’s sister, Kimberly, rocked “Barrymore” by Charleston designer Kate McDonald, and it was so much fun having her at the shoot!

The Southern belle is romantic. She believes in love at first sight, summer romances, and marriages that are strong as a Southern oak. Claire looked lovely in Style 5885 by Miami designer, Liancarlo.

The Southern belle is fun. She isn’t afraid to play, to dance, or to laugh with her head thrown back. We couldn’t get enough of our darling cover gal, Alexandra, in the “Kian” corset and “Priya” skirt by Texas designer Watters!

The Southern belle is warm. Her doors are always open and her front porch always full. Kimberly looked amazing in “Jenny” by Georgia designer, Anne Barge!

The Southern belle is strong. She exemplifies both femininity and inner fortitude. The “Bridgette” gown by Nashville designer Olia Zavozina was so striking on Megan!

Thank you SO much to the talented team and reader models who made this day possible! To see more from this shoot, pick up a copy of Southern Weddings V8, now on news stands across the Southeast, or order online in the Southern Weddings Shop.

Keep an eye out for more Southern Weddings V8 editorials coming up on the blog in the coming weeks! In the meantime, we’d love to know, which of these qualities do you most identify with? Does it match your favorite gown? I’m a “romantic” at heart, but the “elegant” gown is one of my favorites in this issue!

Photography: Eric Kelley / Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab / Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation / Stylist and Florals: Mallory Joyce / Hair and Makeup: Heidi Marie Garrett

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Victoria reply

    LOVED this feature!! The “southern belle is gracious” look with the magnolias just stopped me in my tracks- SO beautiful!

  2. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    This entire feature is pure PERFECTION. I can’t possibly choose a favorite look or favorite characteristic – every detail is exquisite and so beautifully represents a Southern belle. I’m so in love with this whole shoot.

  3. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    the gowns… the brides… all gorgeous!

  4. avatar Dana reply

    So glad you added more photos from this shoot here! Love it even more now!

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Sweet friends, I could not be more overjoyed to introduce you to…the Southern Weddings V8 cover!!

Isn’t she gorgeous? And even better, though you can’t tell from the image above… the flag is the most beautiful rose gold foil!

In this issue, we really honed in on the stories behind our editorials. Each one starts with a couple and a love story we dreamed up, because we wanted to demonstrate how you too can be inspired by your own story while planning for your wedding–the kick-off to the adventure of married life. Along with that, we also thought long and hard about YOU, our dear reader. More than anything, we’re passionate about equipping you with the very BEST information and tools to plan your wedding. We want you to enter into married life joyfully and confidently, knowing that you lived your engagement with intention and planned a truly purposeful wedding–pointing yourself, your groom, and your guests to the true meaning of the day.

We thought about your families and the traditions you hold dear. We thought about the lessons you’ve learned from the generations before you, the heirlooms you’ll pass down someday, and the elements of the South that fill your heart and make you feel most at home. We’re so honored to have you as our reader, and to walk with you on this sweet journey into your forever marriage. It’s only fitting, then, that we wanted our cover to represent YOU!

Our cover girl, Alexandra, is a reader model who flew from Alabama to Virginia one day this summer to join us at a shoot that was all about celebrating what it means to be a Southern belle. Our longtime friend Eric Kelley photographed her at Tuckahoe Plantation, while Heidi Marie Garrett gave her an adorable top knot and fresh makeup, Mallory Joyce lent her styling eye, and Watters (a designer based in Texas) provided her fun gown. We love the fact that this cover is reminiscent of V3: Alexandra has the sweet approachability and joy that Paulina, our V3 cover gal, did, but Alexandra’s look is completely modern and perfect for a Southern belle in 2015!

Our official release is Thursday, but if history is any indication, copies may begin to pop up on news stands any day now! Be sure to snap a pic of yourself with your copy and hashtag #SouthernWeddingsV8 on Instagram or Twitter–we LOVE seeing your smiling faces!! If you live outside the South, you can always find a copy in our shop. Preorders are shipping this week!

We can’t WAIT to hear what you think of this issue and this darling cover!! Honestly, y’all, it’s my all-time favorite, and I know I’m not the only one in the SW office :) Comment below and let us know if you love it as much as we do!!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Kati Mallory reply

    Absolutely LOVE it! Great job girls – can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Oh my stars this is beautiful ladies!! :)

  3. avatar Dana reply

    I picture myself very similarly on my wedding day. Though, do I dare eat a peach? This cover is PERFECT and I can’t wait to get the magazine!!!!!

  4. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    Ya’ll. I CAN’T EVEN!!!!!! So, so, so good – and it’s true, it’s even more beautiful in person!!!

  5. avatar Carrie Joy reply

    Oh my goodness – this is just STUNNING! Y’all have outdone yourself yet again! I can’t wait to see it in person :-) And I love how it has that similar quality to V3 – the first issue I got my hands on & where my love of Southern Weddings began! Y’all are amazing!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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